Staying On Top of Arthritis Pain
Arthritis causes stiffness, pain, swelling and a decreased range of motion in the joints. Being a joint pain, arthritis can affect most regions of the body, and the intensity varies from person to person. Sometimes arthritis gets more severe over time. Staying aware of the level of pain or other symptoms you’re having will help you and your physician analyze the best treatments for your pain.
What Types of Arthritis Are There?
There are two common types of arthritis, but in total, there are over 100. Your physician and specialist will be able to help you figure out if you have arthritis, and which kind it is. Learning about the two most common will give you an idea of what to look for:
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes the inflammation of joints and, if gone untreated, can damage the joints
- It can spread to other parts of the body
- The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is currently unknown
- Some symptoms include pain, swelling or stiffness in multiple joints, fatigue, weight loss, more swelling of joint over time, and the reduced ability to work or do daily activities due to the swelling
- Osteoarthritis is the kind of arthritis that tend to come with age, or possibly injury. When the cushions between joints wears away, it causes stiffness and pain.
- Any joint in your body can be affected
- Spine, knees, hips and hands are most commonly affected
- Some symptoms of osteoarthritis include swollen joints, a limited range of motion, difficulty gripping things, deep joint pain, difficulty squatting, stiffness in the morning that improves with activity and difficulty climbing stairs
What Treatments are there for Arthritis?
You should always speak to your medical care professional once you notice arthritis symptoms, as catching it early can slow down the progress of arthritis. There are quite a few treatments, all of which will be recommended according to your pain’s needs and your body’s ability to handle them:
- Physical therapy
- Inflammation and pain reducing drugs
- Immunosuppressant drugs
- Topical creams
How Can You Reduce Your Risk for Arthritis?
While age is sometimes a factor in arthritis, there are other lifestyle choices you can make in order to avoid arthritis for longer. Here are a few recommendations that might be within your control:
- Controlling your blood sugar can help, as tissue can stiffen with higher blood sugar
- Exercise (low-impact) five times a week for 30 minutes to help the body stay limber
- Quitting smoking reduces the stress on other tissues in your body that are designed to protect the joints
- Stretching can keep you limber and improve your range of motion
- Eating fish two times a week will put more Omega-3s into your diet, which may reduce the inflammation that comes with arthritis
Arthritis is fairly common, and fortunately there are many effective ways to delay its onset or treat it. The pain caused by arthritis can be difficult to manage, but with the help of a physician or a specialist, you can find the right treatment sooner, rather than later.